Category Archives: American politics

Great political movies (No51) Bob Roberts

Few things age as quickly as satire. Because it’s so often heavily reliant on news and topical events, what’s cutting edge one day can be irrelevant a few weeks later. For instance it’s actually quite difficult to watch old episodes of British … Continue reading

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Great mistakes in politics (No40) Nixon pledges to campaign in all 50 states in 1960

There are a lot of reasons why Richard Nixon lost the 1960 Presidential election to John F Kennedy. These include the fact that Kennedy was more adept at using the relatively new medium of TV, he had a better running mate in … Continue reading

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Political predictions they got wrong (No31) Paul Samuelson’s Economics

If you go into any decent second-hand book shop and look in the economics section, I’d be willing to bet you’d find several different additions of Nobel prize winner Paul Samuelson’s best-selling textbook Economics. First published in 1948 it’s sold over … Continue reading

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Great political movies (No49) Joe

Joe isn’t the first film to satirize Middle America’s reaction to the 1960s counter-culture (Wild in the Streets got there first by a year), but it is one of the more political incisive. Normally when you see a movie advertised as being from the director … Continue reading

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Great mistakes in politics (No38) The Strategic Hamlets project in Vietnam

All wars lead to mistakes. The Vietnam conflict probably led to more than most others combined. The number of studies devoted to where the French, South Vietnamese and USA went wrong would take years to fully digest. For those without … Continue reading

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Great political movies (No47) Path to War

Path to War begins with Lyndon Baines Johnson’s inauguration ball in 1965. In his speech he toasts his forthcoming administration, boasting that it features more talented and educated staff than any other government in US history. As Will Rogers once … Continue reading

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Great political TV series (No8) Generation Kill

In the aftermath of the Iraq debacle it’s often forgotten how swift the actual invasion was. From entering Iraq to the  fall of Baghdad, the whole thing took less than a month. Of course that’s when the real problems began. … Continue reading

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Great political movies (No46) Recount

Academics and journalists always like to play the game of historical ‘what if?’ What if the South had won the Civil War? What if the Nazis had won WW2? What would have happened if Nixon hadn’t been impeached? One of … Continue reading

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Great political documentaries (No21) Standard Operating Procedure

Standard Operating Procedure was unfairly overlooked when it was originally released. Perhaps this was because America had had enough of analysing its mistakes. Alternatively maybe it was because a documentary on a very similar theme, Taxi to the Dark Side, … Continue reading

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Great political movies (No45) Margin Call

The aftermath of the Vietnam war saw dozens of films attempting to make sense of the conflict. I suspect that in the next decade or so we’ll begin to see just as many movies picking apart the insanity of the … Continue reading

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